Uncategorisedpersonal-chef-charged-with-murder-after-3-people-died-of-mushroom-poisoning-at-a-private-lunch

An Australian professional and personal chef has been charged with murder after three people were found dead over the summer after a catered lunch party that she cooked for.

In July, three guests died and two others grew critically ill in the small Australian town of Leongatha at a family lunch after consuming poisonous, “death cap” mushrooms that were prepared for them by 49-year-old chef Erin Patterson.

Before becoming a chef, Patterson worked as an air traffic controller for Airservices Australia from 2001-2002, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Patterson was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Two of the attempted murder charges relate to the July incident while police said that the additional three counts of attempted murder relate to other incidents between 2021 and 2022 where people in Korumburra, Australia also became ill after consuming meals prepared by Patterson.

“I think it is particularly important that we keep in mind that at the heart of this, three people have lost their lives. These are three people who by all accounts were much beloved in their communities and are greatly missed by their loved ones,” said Victoria Police Detective Inspector Dean Thomas, Homicide Squad in a release. “In smaller communities such as Leongatha and Korumburra, a tragedy such as this can reverberate for years to come.”

At the time of the incident in July, Patterson told reporters that she “didn’t do anything” and was “devastated” by what had happened.

Patterson did not, however, explain where she obtained the mushrooms from or what kind of mushrooms were used in preparing the meal, per NBC News.

According to Brittanica, Death Cap Mushrooms are the deadliest mushrooms known to humans, native to Europe and the British Isles, with toxins so damaging to the human body that they “cannot be destroyed by boiling, cooking, freezing, or drying” them.

Patterson is currently in custody and set to appear in court on Friday.